Branching Out Preclass

Welcome to the preclass lesson for a discussion of supplies! If you’ve already taken some watercolor classes, you likely have much of what you need. If you’re using alternate supplies to what’s used in class and decide as you view and try the lessons that you want to go order a new brush or new color— you can always do that! Sometimes what you have is perfectly fine, other times you’ll be able to see what kinds of things you want to use going forward.

A little housekeeping:

I retain the copyright to the content you are learning in class. That means you cannot sell or give away the concepts from my classes – no re-teaching of my specific lessons, nor posting a video with your re-draw of the class lesson; especially not sharing any downloadable handouts with others.

You absolutely are encouraged to post and gift your creations made with these techniques, of course! Please DO make your own designs with any techniques you learn here, adapt these lessons, and develop your own style. I love to see students making strides and personalizing lessons! Tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you’re making!

Downloading photos

Photo references for this class are from Paint My Photo – a free site where photographers post images that artists can use to create from without any legal problems. You’ll need a free account on their site – and if you find it useful, feel free to contribute to their site as a one time or monthly donation.


Use cold press or rough; most watercolorists use cold press but the texture of rough is delicious! A few brands are listed below, and options for size/format. You can work on:

  1. sheets from a 9×12 pad of watercolor paper, taped to a board;
  2. a block. While expensive, they’re easy to use – they have all edges secured while you paint, then you can pull off the top painteed page to reveal the next blank sheet; or…
  3. full sheets cut down to 1/8 sheet. “Cutting” is a misnomer here; you can fold the paper in half repeatedly to make a nice score that is easily torn; then each of those can be torn the same way.
  • Arches Cold Press Paper Pads, 9×12: EH – BLICK
  • Arches Rough Paper Pads, 9×12: EHBLICK
  • Arches Cold Press sheets, 22×30: BLICK
  • Arches Blocks: BLICK
  • Arches Rough sheets, 22×30:: BLICK
  • Saunders Waterford Blocks: BLICK
  • Saunders Waterford Cold Press sheets: BLICK
  • Saunders Waterford Rough sheets: BLICK


As a level 2 class, the expensive Kolinsky brushes are NOT required, even though they’ll be used in this course. Use whatever brushes you have as long as you have one that’s about a size 12 (not all 12s are the same size, so thus the “about”) and one that’s a size 8. For new painters, I recommend Silver Black Velvet Brushes, since they’re an affordable synthetic alternate, but if you have other brushes that work, use them!

  • Synthetic blend watercolor brushes
    • Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #8:  EH • BLICKAMZ
    • Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #12: EH – BLICKAMZ
    • Da Vinci Casaneo brushes: BLICK
  • Natural hair watercolor brushes:
    • Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round #10: BLICK
    • Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round #8: BLICK AMZ


You can use ANY colors in this class! We are using photo references, but not following them for colors – just for leaf shapes and branch construction. The colors used for each lesson are listed though, in case you want to add a new color to your collection. But you do not NEED them. Links are below these photos:

AnfhrScarlet, GreenGold, New Gamboge

Cobalt, PhtBT, Sap

Cascade, Cobalt, Sap

Moonglow, Yellow Ochre

AnfhrScarlet, Sap, New Gamboge

AnfhrScarlet, Yellow Ochre

AnfhrScarlet,, New Gamboge, Quin Rose, Aureolin

Quin Rose, Lunar Blue, Cobalt

GreenGold, Sap Green

AnfhrScarlet, GreenGold, Moonglow

Links to paints – the 5ml are listed at Ellen Hutson, since many crafters may want to shop there; the Blick links are the 15ml tubes but they also carry the 5ml.


You’ll need something to attach your paper to – and I definitely recommend a white or tan tape so your eye isn’t distracted into seeing color against blue or green tapes.

  • Ampersand Hardbord: Blick
  • Artist tape: Amazon
  • Salt – regular table salt, sea salt, any kind you have is fine.
  • Paper towels, baby wipes
  • Either a palette with a good amount of mixing space, or small bowls like these to mix paints. (Look for ceramic finger bowls at your local Goodwill store.)